Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez is the Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, one of the largest urban school districts in Connecticut. Born in Puerto Rico, she migrated to Hartford at the age of nine. A product of Hartford Public High School, she has served as an education leader in the Greater Hartford region for over 25 years.
Prior to her appointment as Superintendent, Dr. Torres-Rodriguez was Acting Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership at Hartford Public Schools, where she provided culturally courageous leadership to support the comprehensive improvement efforts of a network of 11 schools. She served as an Assistant Principal and Principal in magnet and neighborhood schools. Dr. Torres-Rodriguez also taught social and behavioral science at Capital Community College and served students and families at Goodwin Technical High School as a School Social Worker. For five years, she held various leadership roles at San Juan Tutorial Program, Inc., a non-profit community-based agency that provided academic and enrichment services to Hartford students, and parenting skills training and supports to families.
During her tenure as Superintendent, Dr. Torres-Rodriguez led an extensive citywide engagement process that resulted in a unanimous Board of Education vote in support of the District Model for Excellence, an equity-focused plan to redesign, reimagine, consolidate, and right size 20% of the schools for improved student outcomes. She developed and executed an equity-centered budget development process and formula resulting in added targeted resources for Multilingual Learners, students with learning differences, disengaged students, and early college programming. To leverage student voice, she implemented the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council focused on participatory student budgeting. Focused on operational effectiveness and financial sustainability, she has mitigated budget deficits totaling $105M between 2017-2020, and partnered with elected officials for the successful passing of $245M capital improvement legislation, resulting in two new school campuses that co-locate magnets and neighborhood schools, a new neighborhood school, and a new education complex featuring a comprehensive neighborhood high school and district operational offices.
Dr. Torres-Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut, and she earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University. She was the recipient of the 2019 Connecticut Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (CALAS) Award for Educational Leadership, the 2019 National Brillante Award for Educational Excellence from Prospanica, and was named National Superintendent of the Year by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) for 2022. She was also featured in “Women of Distinction” by Hartford Magazine. Dr. Torres-Rodriguez currently serves on the Hartford Promise board, co-chairs the Mayor’s Cabinet for Young Children in Hartford, and is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Council. She is a proud resident of Hartford, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
A proud graduate of Hartford Public Schools, Dr. Torres-Rodriguez received a Bachelor in Human Development and a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut and she earned a Doctorate of Educational Leadership from Central Connecticut State University.